Phil Harris: A Pioneer of UK MMA Returns
Before there was Michael Bisping, there was Phil Harris. Before Dan Hardy introduced “The Outlaw” to UFC fans both at home and abroad, Phil Harris was plying his trade in an England that wasn’t exactly ready for mixed martial arts.
“No one really took much interest in it,” said Portsmouth’s Harris, a pro since 2003. “People just thought you were fighting and that it wasn’t really a sport. It wasn’t until a few years later when I already had 10-12 fights that people started recognizing it and knowing it wasn’t a thug’s game, but a proper sport.”
By the time that 12th fight rolled around, the UFC explosion that was kick started by the first season of The Ultimate Fighter was going on, and Harris was building a name for himself on the local circuit, submitting opponents left and right. He even opted to take on a young Brazilian that was rolling through town named Jose Aldo in September of 2005.
Jimi Manuwa: No Sleep 'Til Wembley
Jimi Manuwa’s world changed the second he left the Octagon after his UFC debut win over Kyle Kingsbury last September, but he hardly realized it.
“I haven’t really been out of the gym,” laughed Manuwa when asked about life after one of the most compelling UFC debuts seen last year. “Maybe on the internet I get a bit more recognition, and when I go to fight shows people congratulate me on being in the UFC and tell me that they watched the fight. But I just try to stay humble and stay grounded and just keep doing what I’m doing because I’m not satisfied with just getting to the UFC. That’s just the beginning for me.”
White hopes Cruz won't have to retire
UFC president Dana White expressed the serious scenario facing Dominick Cruz, admitting the bantamweight champion may have to retire if he suffers another bad injury.
Cruz is currently sidelined after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament last year. Since then Renan Barao has become interim champion and will fight Michael McDonald in London this weekend.
Cruz has not had much luck with injuries during his career, and White hopes he will be fit to return to action in the summer of 2013. However, that scenario is by no means a guarantee.
Jimmo in Search of Excellence and 18 Straight Wins
Five years and 16 consecutive wins after losing his MMA debut, Ryan Jimmo finally made his way into the Octagon.
Seven seconds later, the 31-year-old Canadian stood in the center of the cage, smiling as he broke out his patented celebratory dance, a rock-solid “robot” that ended with a full front split.
The journey to UFC 149 in Calgary, Alberta last summer was a circuitous one, as he threw hands across his home and native land in various organizations, ultimately settling in Edmonton for an extended run in the country’s premier organization, the Maximum Fighting Championship.
After racking up nine consecutive victories prior to his MFC return, Jimmo rattled off four more wins to arrive at a title shot, and then defeated fan favourite Dwayne Lewis to claim the vacant light heavyweight title. In his next two outings, “The Big Deal” defeated current Ultimate Fighter contestant Zak Cummings and former PRIDE and UFC competitor Sokoudjou by decision to run his winning streak to 16 straight.
Half of those 16 wins – including six out of seven following his return to the MFC – came by way of decision, earning Jimmo an unappealing reputation as a decision fighter; someone more interested in making sure he added another win to his resume than entertaining the fans.
Former UFC Fighter and Olympic Gold Medalist Kevin Jackson Talks About the IOC’s Decision to Drop Olympic Wrestling
In my opinion, the IOC can go fuck themselves!
Wrestling was left in a state of shock after the International Olympic Committee made a surprise recommendation on Tuesday morning to drop the sport from the 2020 Games. Contested in the first modern Olympics in 1896 and part of the ancient Games in Olympia, wrestling will now join seven other candidate sports battling for one spot in the games. In this exclusive interview from our partners at Takedown Radio, old school UFC veteran and Gold Medalist in Freestyle wrestling at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games, Kevin Jackson discusses the International Olympic Committee’s decision and the impact it could have on the sport of wrestling.
Chad Mendes meets Clay Guida at UFC on FOX 7
With officials unable to find a replacement for injured opponent Manny Gamburyan, Chad Mendes has been pulled from the Feb. 23 UFC 157 event altogether.
But the former title challenger is getting what is arguably a bigger fight when Mendes (13-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) meets fellow featherweight Clay Guida (30-13 MMA, 10-7 UFC) at UFC on FOX 7 on April 20, UFC President Dana White confirmed with USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Monday.
The event takes place at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. Mendes vs. Guida could be one of four fights featured on the network-televised main card, which follows prelims on FX and Facebook...
Burrell-Villefort added to UFC 157; McGee-Neer moves to main card
With the Chad Mendes-Manny Gamburyan fight off UFC 157, a new welterweight bout has stepped up to fill the gap.
Strikeforce imports Nah-Shon Burrell (8-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Yuri Villefort (6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will meet later this month. UFC officials on Monday announced the new booking.
In addition, with the loss of Mendes-Gamburyan opening up a spot on the main card, a middleweight bout between Court McGee (14-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Josh Neer (33-12-1 MMA, 6-8 UFC) has moved up from the preliminary card to the pay-per-view.
Manager says Chad Mendes will be back in April, may get bigger UFC fight
Mike Roberts on Monday said Chad Mendes (13-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is likely to reappear in April following the cancellation of his fight with Manny Gamburyan (12-7 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at UFC 157.
The manager also disputed a rumor that the onetime title challenger had turned down an offer to fight former Strikeforce lightweight Justin Wilcox (11-5).
"Any rumor that's out there saying that me or Chad turned down any fight is completely, 100 percent false," Roberts told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "There's not a huge line of people that want to fight Chad, especially on two weeks' (notice)."